According to a recent report, the 2014 BMW M4 will be offered exclusively with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The news, if true, comes as a bit of a surprise but the company has been moving away from manual transmissions in high-performance models. As several engineers have pointed out in the past, the dual-clutch gearbox delivers better performance and improved fuel efficiency.
BMW wanted to eliminate the six-speed manual in the M5 and M6 but caved to U.S. fans who like to do the shifting themselves. At the time BMW M's Head of Development, Albert Biermann, said "The trouble is that nobody wants it in Europe or anywhere else, so this will be the last time we do it, even for the hard-core U.S. buyers." He added, "We just can't justify it anymore."
Update: Bimmerpost has put together some compelling evidence to counter Autoblog's claims of a DCT-only M4. Their report cites previous spy photos of a manual equipped M3 and prototype build sheets which show the model with and without the M DCT transmission.